2014-04-22 Earth Day
Happy Earth Day.
Really though, shouldn’t everyday be earth day? After all, earth is our home. It’s what sustains us, protects us, and enriches our bodies and our spirits. Taking care of the planet really means taking care of ourselves. Yet the way we treat the planet, you’d almost think mankind has a death wish. Will we continue on our current path, battering and bruising the environment past the point of no return, past the point where it can no longer sustain human life? Have we already crossed that threshold, and will we only realize it in retrospect years from now, as the seas rise, and the land bakes, and the air becomes unbreathable?
The refrain is always the same – safeguarding the environment hurts the economy. Such thinking is shortsighted at best. The price we pay for short term prosperity is our very existence. No matter what we do, the earth will survive. Whether or not we do is an entirely different matter. Now is the time for change. Not ten years from now, nor five… not tomorrow. Now. Can we summon the wisdom and courage to do what must be done, or will we allow the lobbyists, politicians and corporations to continue to lie, cheat, or simply turn a blind eye to what’s happening, lining their coffers with ever-increasing profits while selling the rest of us down the (polluted) river?
Sometimes the greatest impediment to action is the doubt that we can succeed. In the backs of our minds we may be thinking, “the big corporations are too powerful, the damage to the planet already too great.” Yet all is not lost. In 1872 Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. became the world’s first wildlife reserve. Today there are well over 40,000 such reserves, covering more that 10% of the planet’s land – an astonishing achievement. In the 1950s, the number of nesting pairs of Bald Eagles had dwindled to 412, down from a high of 300,000 – 500,000 individuals in the 1700s. With the help of captive-breeding and rehabilitation programs, and legislation that imposed harsh penalties for poaching and banned the use of DDT, Bald Eagle populations soared to over 100,000 individuals. When we work together, there are almost no limits to what we can achieve. The question is, will we? Those who would trade our futures for cash bank on the notion that we’ll grow tired of the battle. They believe they can wear us down, that time is on their side, but time is on no one’s side in this fight. Every moment counts, and we must be relentless in dispersing the facts, and exposing the falsehoods and misdeeds of those who threaten the environment that supports and nurtures us all.